The French Revolution

Revolutionary Tradition and Les Mis
Revolution 1789
--The Monarchy
--Tennis Court Oath
--Fall of the Bastille
--October Days
--Declaration of War
--Palace Invaded
--Louis XVI
--Reign of Terror
-- Fall of Robespierre
--At war
1789 in Les Miserables
--The Terror
--The People
--The Students
--The Monarchy
--Place de Concord
--Notre Dame
Daily Sites
--Street Names
--Children's Names and Games
Works Consulted


 "Show my head to people, it is worth seeing"

~Danton's last words


 Portrait of Danton, from Schama

Danton was born in Arcis, a little town south-east of Paris. His father was a prominent lawyer, and Danton was raised as a classical scholar. He was a fairly prominent lawyer before the Revolution of 1789, but became thoroughly famous through the events surrounding 1789 and the Terror. He was one of the driving forces behind the fall of the monarchy on August 10, 1792, and was universally acknowledged as a staunch patriot despite his love of excess. He was also the founder of the Cordeliers club, whci was a forum for the sans-culottes of Paris to discuss political issues.

Danton was a great orator and a fiery and passionate advocate of his causes, no matter what the cost. He was one of the first men to speak out against Robespierre's reign of Terror. This dissention cost him his life. Danton was feared by Robespierre because of his power physical presence and persuasive speech. Throughout the Revolution, Danton had been associated with corrupt characters and had been known to take bribes. Robespierre used Danton's affiliations and indescretions against him, and did not allow him or his allies (one of whom was Camille Desmoulins) to speak at their trial. Danton was guillotined on April 5, 1794. His last words were "Show my head to people, it is worth seeing" (Dowd, David L., The French Revolution, American Heritage Publishing Co, Inc. (New York, 1958).p.136). This was a reference to his unique and imposing physical appearance, as well as his popularity with the people of Paris.

Which member of the Friends of the ABC resembles Danton? Click here to find out!

For more information about refelctions of Danton in Les Miserables click here.


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